Fire Captain

Around 2001, I was part of the fire department in the area we were living, if I was home I was on duty, and the radio was on.

My Captain was a very dedicated man, and we spend a lot of time together, when we were out on an accident or mostly forest fire.

He was also a man, that never talked about his problems, it never came across for anyone of us, that he was sick.

He had diabetes and problems with his heart, and finally are a while, he came and told us, his wife had convinced him he needed a bypass surgery, and it was going to be a while before he was allowed back on duty.

The whole team was of cause devastated and wish him the best, and we would come and visit him, at the hospital. The following day he came and knock on my door. I am coming to say goodbye. I looked at him, and asked what do you mean?

He said, take my hand. And I did, I knew what he meant, all my air got sucked out of my chest, followed by a pain of sorrow and longing. I asked him why?

He said it is my time, I will not survive the surgery. I couldn’t convince him to talk to his wife again, leaving two small children and his wife, was okay. It is his time and he knew it.

The following week, he went into surgery and spend 24 hours or so in recovery. As soon as they told us, we could come and see him, I head out and went over and knock on his door.

He was pale and looked nothing like what I was used to. I smiled and said see, you are going to be just fine. He smiled but didn’t say anything about it. I stayed with him, until his wife came back, and then I left, told him I was coming back to see him in a couple of days.

The next day, I had an uneasy feeling in my body, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t anything.

I knew something was wrong, but I also knew driving up there wouldn’t help. In the evening after I have gotten my son to bed, got ready for bed, my chest was cramped, and I felt as if I was getting an asthma attack, the pain in my chest continued.

Eventual I laid down, and as I turned off the light, I saw my captain standing by my bedside. I looked at him, and smiled, tears were running down my face, I knew what has happen. He came over and sat down. He said don’t cry it is okay. I looked at him and said I know, we both knew.

Few minutes later he left. I looked at my clock to note the time, and then I laid down soaking my pillow in tears.

4 hours later, just before 7 am, the noise from the radio woke me up. They announced that our Fire Captain had died during the night.